February 16, 2015
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
A few years ago, a nurse’s responsibilities were pretty much limited to taking down patients’ personal details, checking patients’ vitals, administering injections, dressing wounds and rendering ongoing care in accordance with the physician’s instructions. Today’s nurse however is a far cry from that old stereotype. Today nurses shoulder much more responsibilities. They are leaders in their field, making independent decisions, spearheading research programmes and developing effective healthcare programmes for underserved communities around the world.
While caring for patients still remains the primary goal of a nurse, today’s nursing professionals have several other goals and objectives that they can aspire to achieve throughout their career. In this article we explore the four main objectives in the nursing field today.
With continuous advancements being made in medicine and technology, you can never be done learning in your nursing career. Staying updated with the latest research and developments and striving to hone your skills through continued education is the only way to continue providing patients with the best possible care. This can be done by enrolling in relevant continued education courses and attending seminars and workshops hosted by various colleges and universities. Not only will the added learning and qualifications help you be more efficient on the job but they also pave the way for faster job advancements and higher salaries.
Most patients do not understand medical jargon and doctors don’t always have the time to explain the details of various procedures or the consequences to every patient. In situations such as this, nurses play a vital role in liaising between doctors and patients. They simplify medical terms and explain procedures and side-effects to patients and their families. They listen carefully to their queries and take time to address all of their concerns and ease their anxieties. Some nurses even present seminars to patients and conduct workshops.
Irrespective of the specialty or the workplace setting, the number one priority for any nurse is ensuring that patients get the best care possible. Nurses help reduce patient wait times by attending to routine tasks such as asking questions about patients’ medical histories and checking patients’ vital signs so that doctors have as much information as possible and can get straight to work when they attend to the patients. Advanced nurses are also qualified to work autonomously and take independent decisions when necessary.
Safety is vital in any work setting and more so in a medical workplace where diseases can spread quickly from those who are sick to those with compromised immune systems. In addition to ensuring that all medical equipment is properly sterilised, nurses also undertake the all-important task of raising awareness amongst the general populace about potential medical risks and what steps they can take to prevent them. Nurses help identify potential hazards in the work environment and bring these to the notice of senior staff so they can be attended to immediately. Nursing professionals who work in a private institution are often in charge of various safety protocols and it is their responsibility to ensure that every procedure is safe and every patient is given the best treatment possible.